May 27, 2014
With warmer, longer days comes the return of meals eaten al fresco. The highlight of our summertime dinner routine is eating outside as much as possible. Regardless of where we eat, on our deck, in the park or on the porch, the thrill of being outside relaxing and enjoying time together in the rarefied Northwest sun is wonderful.
There’s something about eating outside that just lowers the blood pressure, inviting us to slow down, be more present and enjoy the world around us in a way we don’t often have opportunity to do.
April 29, 2014
It’s hard to argue that few things are not improved by the addition of browned butter.
Over the course of the past few years, browned butter has pretty much taken over the world of baking. The thinking goes that any recipe that calls for butter can definitely be improved by the addition of butter that’s been melted, and milk solids that have been browned and caramelized. In my view, it’s pretty sound thinking. The alchemy that occurs when browning butter is nothing short of magical.
Browned butter adds a salty complexity to baked goods and leaves the uninitiated wondering just what makes that cookie or that banana bread they’ve just devoured more amazing than anything they’ve ever had before.
March 25, 2014
Spring is just around the corner. Can you feel it? Warmer, longer days, and daffodils and crocuses peeking through the soil all give me hope that winter day’s are almost at end.
Often, when I feel anxious for the beginning of a new season, the best way I find to welcome it into being is to begin doing so in my kitchen and, of course, by extension, onto my plate.
A light, colorful salad is the epitome of spring, particularly if it includes small micro-greens, shoots and starts. Packed with nutrients, delicious to eat and beautiful to look at, micro-greens should be in everyone’s salad at one point or another. More readily available than they’ve ever been, they are perfect additions to smoothies, stir-fry, sandwiches or on fresh roasted fish as a garnish with berries.
February 18, 2014
When I was growing up, my mother often served eggs for dinner. The idea that we could have what was usually a breakfast food for dinner was a fun and unique thing for us. For my mother, it was a great way to get a nutritious dinner on the table fast.
We had our fair share of waffles and pancakes for dinner, too, but for some reason, I remember the egg dishes the most. Most frequently, we had eggs in omelets, scrambled or my personal favorite, pan-fried in toad in the hole.
January 28, 2014
When the Seahawks played their first season in Seattle, I was 6 years old. To say it was a big deal to finally have a professional football team in the Emerald City is putting things very lightly. It was an epically huge deal. We lived in Ballard during those first years and every Seahawk Sunday the town basically shuttered its doors.
Everywhere you went, the city was in thrall. It was nothing to see people walking down the street, transistor radios glued to their ears, neighborhood bars overflowing with fans, men, young and old huddled outside Sunday church services, listening quietly to car radios and cheering our beloved Seahawks to victory.
January 21, 2014
Eating lighter/healthier is for me not so much a New Year’s resolution but rather one that I attempt to view as an ongoing daily one. I often fail in this attempt, but its appeal is ever present and I love the way I feel when I eat wholly and healthfully. More vegetables, more healthy fats and more whole grain are really the focus of our efforts around here these days and soup is, in my opinion, the perfect vehicle for their consumption.
December 17, 2013
If the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has just about overwhelmed you and the thought of making one more treat or wrapping one more gift is more than you can bear, I hear you.
Every year, with the best intentions, I set out to make and bake an ambitious list of treats and goodies. Every year, I fail miserably to accomplish even a fraction of what I intend. Life, work, holiday merry making and all the other responsibilities just simply get in the way.
I’ve made peace with doing less over the years, and as my children have gotten older I’ve realized that really the most important thing is just to make a priority of enjoying the season. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way for us to do that.
November 26, 2013
Serve up a strata the morning after a holiday feast
One of the most wonderful by-products of the Thanksgiving meal, in my mind, is the abundance of leftover turkey.
If you haven’t completely exhausted yourself in the kitchen on the day of, there are a plethora of recipes to be found online and in magazines that will help you turn the humble bird into another spectacular meal.
October 22, 2013
In my mind, there is nothing quite as representative or symbolic of fall than baked apple desserts. Caramelized in sugar, sprinkled with cardamom and cinnamon or stewed in compotes on pancakes, or eaten unadorned from a bowl, warm and tart and sweet, I think you get the idea.
Beautifully versatile, apples beg to be included in not only the sweet, but they are also perfect companions to the savory. They are best simply roasted in a pan with onions, and sausages, drizzled with maple syrup or slipped into crispy, melty cheese sandwiches. Serve along side roasted tomato soup and you really cannot go wrong.
September 24, 2013
Easy, flavorful French onion soup is a perfect way to welcome fall.
With shorter days approaching, leaves beginning their slow, vibrant metamorphosis and wafts of fall greeting us at every turn, it’s time to turn our thoughts to warm and comforting food.
September is often our bonus month of summer. However, despite our lovely, frequently sunny days, a change in the air is most often immediately felt once the calendar turns and Labor Day has come and gone. Cooler, shorter evenings require soups, slow-cooked dinners and hopefully more time around the dinner table enjoying them.